Ho for the 146th Livestock Show and Fair!
Julia Rappaport

The gates opened half an hour early this year for the 146th annual Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Society Livestock Show and Fair because of the number of people milling in the parking lot. And at 10:45 a.m. yesterday the line in front of the West Tisbury firemen's hamburger booth was the shortest it will be all weekend. At peak hours, the wait for a grilled-to-perfection burger can take up to 15 minutes, but on this morning, only two people were waiting, their elbows up on the counter.

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Pigs Race, Women's Skillets Fly at Weekend of Agricultural Fair
Jim Hickey

An account of the first Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Society Fair, which at the time was called simply the fair and cattle show, from the Oct. 14, 1859 edition of the Vineyard Gazette recounts that the show was "well attended by people from all parts of the County."

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Ag Fair Votes Don Sibley’s Japanese Maple Best Bonsai

Members of the Martha’s Vineyard Bonsai Society asked visitors to their display at the Agricultural Fair to choose their favorite bonsai. The clear first place winner was a Japanese maple grown by Don Sibley.

The number of votes for the following honors was very close; in second place was a cedar forest grown by Jeff Donaroma, and in third place, a Chinese elm grown by Betty Trider.

Three plants were awarded honorable mention: Vincent Dellatorra’s grape vine; Ernie Carlomagno’s small leaf jade and his Shimpaku juniper.

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Blue Ribbon Winners and More: Agricultural Society Fair Results

Junior Goats

General, over 2 years doe: 1. Thea Keene, 1. Adelaide Keene.

Junior Swine

General, Sow under 1 year: 1. Nathaniel W. Packer, 2. Charlotte Packer, 3. David Packer.

Junior Swine, General, Barrow under 1 year: 1. Nathaniel W. Packer, 2. Charlotte Packer, 3.David Packer.

Junior Swine, General, Barrow over 1 year: 1. Nathaniel W. Packer, 1. Charlotte Packer, 2. David Packer.

Junior Sheep, Pure Bred, Sheep: 1. Lucy Tompson, 1. Oscar Thompson.

Junior Sheep

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From Best in Show to Best Skillet Toss, Winners Take All at Agricultural Fair
Sam Bungey

Sam Hayes of Edgartown affectionately pinned back the ears of his giant American pit bull terrier, Wallace, as owner and canine took a breather from Sunday’s dog show.

It was the last day of the 147th Annual Livestock Show and Fair of the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society. A total of 29,706 entrance tickets were sold, happily surprising organizers who were braced for recession-era frugality and low returns on a late summer start date.

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Livestock Show, Fair Begins Under Sunny Skies in West Tisbury
Mark Alan Lovewell

All paths, roads, streams and trails point this weekend to the 147th annual Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society Fair in West Tisbury. Clear skies and warm, dry temperatures are predicted for the next three days and that means, if you’ll pardon the pun, fair weather.

“The summer colors are here. Blue and green. The sky is blue and the grass is green. This is perfect weather for a fair. What could be better?” asked Eleanor Neubert, fair manager.

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Time for Homegrown Thrills at Fair
Julia Rappaport

Crispy vegetable tempura. The Salt and Pepper shaker. Low-fat muffins. These are the things which were not at the first Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society Livestock Show and Fair held in West Tisbury 147 years ago.

And here are the things that were: goats for milking, oxen for pulling carts and chickens whose eggs made breakfast in the morning and whose meat went into supper.

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Make Way for the Fair, and a New Barn
Julia Rappaport

In just a few weeks, the agricultural hall grounds in West Tisbury will be abuzz with activity. Already there are signs that the annual Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society Livestock Show and Fair — the first day is August 21 — is just around the corner.

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Ag Fair is Best in Show

Ag Fair Is Best in Show

The Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society won four awards including the Best of Show honor at the 2009 Massachusetts Agricultural Fairs’ Association Media Awards competition held this month in Marlborough.

The fair’s poster, by the Vineyard Gazette’s Morgan Lucero, was awarded best of show.

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Stolen Poultry at the Fair Leaves Owners, Organizers Asking Why
Jim Hickey

Several chickens entered into the livestock competition of the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society Fair were stolen from their cages, shattering for many the old-fashioned sense of innocence of the event while prompting officials to consider increased security measures when the fair resumes next year.

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